|Governorate||Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate|
|• Total||9.7 km2 (3.7 sq mi)|
|Elevation||640 m (2,099.74 ft)|
|• Total||3,667 نسمة|
Kobar (Arabic: كوبر) is a Palestinian village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in the northern West Bank, located 13 kilometers (8.1 mi) northwest of Ramallah. Kobar is bordered by Burham village to the east, Jibiya and Umm Safa lands to the north, Al Itihad to the west, and Al-Zaytouneh and Bir Zeit lands to the south.
Burqa is located at an altitude of 670 meters (2,200 ft) above sea level with a mean annual rainfall of 669.8 mm. The average annual temperature is 16 c and the average annual humidity is approximately 61% .
Since 1996, Kobar has been governed by a village council which is currently administrated by 11 members appointed by the Palestinian National Authority. There are two further employees working in the Council; the village council owns a permanent headquarters and is included within a Joint Services Council for neighboring localities.
It is the responsibility of the village council to provide a number of services to the residents of Kobar, including :
- Managing and maintaining the water network.
- Supplying an electricity network or generators.
- Solid waste collection, street cleaning and providing social development services
- Implementation of projects and case studies for the village.
- 1 History
- 2 Religious and Archaeological Sites
- 3 Population
- 4 Age Groups and Gender
- 5 Families
- 6 Education
- 7 Health Status
- 8 Economic Activities
- 9 Institutions and Services
- 10 Environmental Conditions
- 11 Proposed Projects
- 12 References
- 13 Edited by
Kobar can be translated literally as "the place where the gypsum was‟, as the village was renowned for its gypsum resources .
The establishment of the village dates back to ancient times .
Religious and Archaeological Sites
There are four mosques in the village: Kobar New, Ash Shuhada', Abu Bakr as Siddiq and Al 'Atqiya' Mosques. There are several sites of archaeological interest, including Ad Dweir, Kafr Fidiya, Ash Sheikh Jameel shrine, Al Juwani Convent, Al Butool and the old city. None of these sites are used for tourism and all are in need of renovation and rehabilitation .
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the total population of Kobar in 2007 was 3,456, of whom 1,772 were male and 1,684 female. There were 668 households living in 707 housing units.
Age Groups and Gender
The General Census of Population and Housing carried out by PCBS in 2007 showed the distribution of age groups in Kobar was as follows: 39.1% were less than 15 years of age, 55.7% were between 15 and 64 years of age, and 5% were 65 years old or older. Data additionally showed that the sex ratio of males to females in the village is 105:100, meaning that males and females constituted 51.3% and 48.7% of the population respectively.
According to the results of the PCBS Population, Housing and Establishment Census-2007, the illiteracy rate among the Kobar population was approximately 6.5%, of whom 79.5% were females. Of the literate population, 12.5% could only read and write, with no formal education 20.9% had elementary education, 30.6% had preparatory education, 15.7% had secondary education, and 13.4% completed higher education. Table 1 shows the educational level in the village of Kobar by sex and educational attainment in 2007.
|SEX||Illiterate||Can read & write||Elementary||Preparatory||Secondary||Associate Diploma||Higher Diploma||Bachelor||Master||PhD||Unknown||Total|
There are three public schools in the village, run by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), but there are no kindergartens (Directorate of Education in Ramallah, 2011).
|School Name||Supervising Authority||Sex|
|Kobar Girls Secondary School||Government||Females|
|Kobar Boys Secondary School||Government||Males|
|Kobar Co-educated Elementary School||Government||Mixed|
There are 905 students, 55 teachers, and 33 classes in the village (Directorate of Education in Ramallah, 2011). The average number of students per teacher in the school is nearly 16, and the average number ofstudents per class is approximately 27.
The educational sector in Kobar village faces some obstacles, mainly (Kobar Village Council, 2011):
- The lack of teachers specializing in particular subjects.
- The schools and playgrounds are in need of maintenance.
- The impact of the negative economic situation on students and their families.
- The lack of entertaining and engaging programs for students, combined with the need to upgrade .
- and modernize school curriculum's.
There are a few health centers available in Kobar village: Kobar governmental health center, a governmental physician‟s clinic, three private clinics (one dental, one ophthalmology and one general physician‟s clinic), and a private pharmacy. In the absence of required health services and in emergencies, residents of Kobar go to Abu Shukheidim health center or health centers in Ramallah city, 5 km and 15 km from the locality respectively (Kobar Village Council, 2011).
The health sector in the village experiences many problems, including (Kobar Village Council, 2011):
- The lack of a fully qualified health center in the village.
- The lack of an ambulance for emergency cases.
- The lack of a radiology center and a medical laboratory.
- The lack of medicines in the health center.
The economy in Kobar is dependent on several economic sectors, mainly the employees sector, which absorbs 60% of the village workforce (Kobar Village Council, 2011) . The results of a field survey conducted by ARIJ staff in 2011 for the distribution of labor by economic activity in Kobar are as follows:
- Government or Private Employees Sector (60%)
- Agriculture Sector (20%)
- Services (7%)
- Industry (5%)
- Trade Sector (5%)
- Israeli labor market (3%)
The village has an olive oil-press and two stone quarries, in addition to 14 grocery stores, one fruit and vegetable store, 5 different professional workshops, 3 different service stores, and one store for agricultural tools (Kobar Village Council, 2011).
The unemployment rate in Kobar reached around 15% in 2011, and it was found that the social groups most affected in the village as a result of Israeli restrictions and procedures are (Kobar Village Council, 2011):
- Former workers in Israel.
- Workers in the agricultural sector.
- Workers in industry.
Institutions and Services
Kobar village has a post office division in addition to a number of local institutions and associations that provide services to various sectors of society. These include (Kobar Village Council, 2011):
- Kobar Village Council: Founded in 1996 by the Ministry of Local Governorate with the goal of taking care of issues in the village and providing various services to its population.
- Kobar Sports Club: Founded in 1973 by the village's youth and currently registered in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, aiming to provide young people in the village with sport, cultural, and social activities.
- Kobar Women Center: Founded in 2010 by Ministry of Interior, providing services including canteen management, women‟s activities, and the women‟s club.
- Kobar Women and Young Women Center: Founded in 2010 by the Ministry of Interior, the center provides women with educational and cultural activities.
- Kobar Consuming Society: Founded in 2003 by the Ministry of Labor, the society includes a supermarket and a kindergarten.
- Kobar Women Agricultural Society: Founded in 2003 by the Ministry of Labor, aiming to provide agricultural and embroidery services.
Like other villages and towns in the governorate, Kobar experiences several environmental problems which must be addressed and solved. These problems can be identified as follows:
- Water is cut off by the Jerusalem Water Authority for long periods of time during summer in several neighborhoods of the village for several reasons:
- Israeli control over Palestinian water resources causes problems in the organization of water pumping and its distribution among populations. The Jerusalem Water Authority distributes water to various areas on an interval basis because the amount of water available is not sufficient to supply everyone‟s needs simultaneously.
- High rate of water losses, because the water network is old and in need of rehabilitation and
- Lack of a public water reservoir in the village for the use of residents during water shortages.
Waste water Management
- The absence of a public sewage network means that in Kobar residents are forced to use unhygienic cesspits for the disposal of waste water, and/or discharge waste water in the streets.
This is particularly common in winter, as citizens cannot afford the high cost of sewage tankers during this period. These methods facilitate environmental damage, health problems, and the spread of epidemics and diseases in the village. This waste water also contaminates the groundwater and water collected in household cisterns (rainwater harvesting cisterns) because most cesspits are built without lining, allowing waste water to enter into the ground and avoiding the need to use sewage tankers. The untreated waste water collected from cesspits by sewage tankers is disposed of in open areas without concern for the damage it causes to the environment and to residents' health.
Solid Waste Management
- The lack of a central sanitary landfill to serve Kobar and the other neighboring communities in the governorate is due mainly to the obstacles created by the Israeli authorities for local and national institutions in granting licenses to establish such a landfill, because the appropriate land is within Area C and under Israeli control. Additionally, the implementation of such projects depends on funding from donor countries. The lack of a sanitary landfill is a source of pollution to the groundwater and soil through the leach ate produced from the solid waste, and produces bad odors and distortion of the landscape.
- There is an absence of a system in the village and the governorate in general that sepahazardous waste from non-hazardous waste. Hazardous solid waste is collected with hazardous waste and transported to 'Ein ar Rihaniya valley landfill for disposal by burning.
Kobar Village Council, in cooperation with the civil society organizations in the village and the village residents, hopes to implement several projects in the coming years. The project ideas were developed during the PRA workshop conducted by ARIJ staff in the village. The projects are as follows, in order of priority from the perspectives of the participants in the workshop (Kobar Village Council, 2011):
- Establishing a landfill and providing the village with a waste vehicle.
- Establishing a reserved water reservoir for the village.
- Establishing a sewerage network.
- Providing headquarters for the women and youth societies.
- Providing an elementary school in the village.
- Establishing public parks and recreational places.
- Rehabilitating the springs and using them for agricultural purposes.
- Constructing harvesting cisterns.
- Constructing agricultural roads.
- Marketing olive oil.
- Paving the village streets.
- Supporting farmers in the village.
- Rehabilitating the stadiums.
- Finding a solution to the problem of transportation.
- Providing special poisons to get rid of feral pigs.
- Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), 2012. Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Unit; Land Use Analysis (2010) – Half Meter High Accuracy. Bethlehem - Palestine.
- Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), 2012. Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing unit Database. Bethlehem - Palestine.
- Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ). 2012. Water & Environment Research Unit Database (WERU). Bethlehem - Palestine.
- Jerusalem Water Authority (for Ramallah & Al Bireh areas) (2011). Detection showing the amount of water sold from 1/1/2010 till 31/12/2010. Ramallah – Palestine.
- Jerusalem Water Authority (2012). Jerusalem Water Authority's Website; Data Retrieved on the first of March. http://www.jwu.org/newweb/atemplate.php?id=87.
- Kobar Village Council, 2011.
- Ministry of Education & Higher Education (MOHE) - Ramallah, 2011. Directorate of Education; A database of schools (2010/2011). Ramallah – Palestine.
- Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), 2009. Directorate of Agriculture data (2008/2009). Ramallah - Palestine.
- Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Ramallah, Palestine: General Census of Population and Housing Censuses, 2007.
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